SINGAPORE: Muslims in Singapore celebrated Hari Raya Haji on Thursday.
For most Muslims, the day began with prayers in mosques, stadiums and even void decks.
Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister in charge of Muslim Affairs, joined some 4,000 people for prayers at the Al-Iman Mosque in Bukit Panjang.
In his Hari Raya Haji sermon, Mufti Syed Isa Semait stressed that in Islam, relationships are based on compassion, harmony and love.
Solidarity and brotherhood are essential to ensure peace and prosperity in the communities, he added.
It is this concept of solidarity that requires Muslims to perform the act of sacrificing sheep, or "korban", and share the meat with the poor in the community.
About 70 families each received a few kilogrammes of mutton and 10 kilogrammes of rice from Dr Yaacob at the Al-Iman Mosque.
About 70 people from other races were also invited to the mosque for a presentation on the meaning of Hari Raya Haji and "korban".
The mosque also made special efforts to supplement its presentation with Chinese subtitles.
The timely delivery of sheep has been a concern for the community, which prefers to conduct the "korban" on the first day of Hari Raya Haji.
However, Dr Yaacob urged the community to exercise flexibility as allowed by Islam.
He said: "It is important for the Malay-Muslim community in Singapore to be ready to accept the fact that maybe it is not possible every year for us to do the sacrifice on the first day of Hari Raya Haji. We still have three days."
However, Dr Yaacob stressed the Muslim authorities would do their best to ensure the timely delivery of the sheep. - CNA/ir